You want to be comfortable in what you are wearing so you can project confidence. Thus, professional attire should be well-fitted to your body type. Nothing too tight or too baggy. Below are some general tips when dressing for a professional or business event. Obviously, no rule is 100% and you should always rely on common sense about how you may be perceived at the event you are attending. Keep in mind that while we do not want you to feel like you are suppressing who you are; the legal profession is still a more conservative world that you need to be prepared to meet head-on and succeed in.
Suit: A well-tailored suit in a conservative color is the most appropriate attire choice. Be sure that your suit and shirt are pressed or ironed. If you are wearing a skirt, make sure the length is both comfortable and appropriate while you are sitting down. Blouses or collared shirts should not have a low-cut neckline. If wearing a dress, make sure that you have a jacket on as well. Khaki pants and a blazer are not considered business attire.
Shoes: Dress shoes should be conservative in color and design. Heels should not be more than 2-3 inches high.
Accessories: If wearing a tie, muted colors in solid, stripes, or small patterns are preferred. Other accessories should be limited. Jewelry should be more conservatively styled as to not distract from you and what you have to say. Go light on or avoid perfume/cologne altogether. Always make sure your cell phone is silenced and out of sight! If you need a bag, consider a briefcase or conservatively styled purse. Never bring a backpack.
Hair: Your hairstyle should be well maintained and groomed. Facial hair should be trimmed and neatly groomed.
Employer Differences: The lawyers at the legal offices you may visit or interview at may be dressed in attire that is more casual than professional attire. When making a first impression, however, it is always better to err on the side of formality.
Regional Differences: Often professional attire has a different definition based on geography. The above guide is geared toward the Providence and Boston markets. If you are interviewing or networking in other parts of the country, it may be best to ask a local resource, such as an alum. An example of a regional difference is that in the southern United States, it is expected that those wearing skirts or dresses wear nylons.
Important Notes for Orientation: For employer visits on Friday, some walking may be required. If you want to change into a more comfortable pair of shoes for walking, bring a bag to accommodate for this, and make sure it is a professional tote. You can wear the same suit on Friday that you wore to the Welcome Program on Wednesday evening.